Everyone plays the actor until they come into their own role. Tareq Q (@kickstq) forges ahead of the rest of the sneaker community with the tact of a sharp-suited businessman, and by no coincidence either. The terrestrial dry land of his home country Kuwait is rich in oil and gas reserves and Tareq Q is fortunate enough to have a stake in the whole matter. His Instagram feed is an exploratory gem of streetwear, sneakers, and Arab culture–like a guide to the high life where quality and fit is the standard amidst the arid climates of Arabia.
“Menswear in Kuwait here is mainly our traditional dress, which are called ‘Dish Dasha’s’ or ‘Thob,'” he says. “So there is that stigma of being too ‘Westernized’ and not being integrated enough within the local culture if you’re always in a pair of Jordans, Tee, and a hoodie. This does not stop me from merging the two cultures as best as I can. I always focus on creating photos that are authentic to my Arab heritage and the region in general.”
His feed has a curatorial deftness that’s usually reserved for professionals in the field but what he adds is depths of brand knowledge and good taste. He grew up idolizing Michael Jordan. His favorite Jordan silhouette is the IV, favorite model the Infrared VI, most worn the Bred I and White/Cement III. His favorite pair at the moment? The Fragment Design Air Jordan I. Under intense personal scrutiny, his style is kept simple–straightforward and minimal–with sneakers usually being the wow factor.
“I believe we all should go out and rock outfits and our kicks with confidence!” Tareq Q says. “An uncomfortable fit will eliminate that confidence no matter how appealing the shoe or clothing item might be.”
When I asked him about the sneaker community in the Middle East, his response was honest yet hopeful. Yes, he lives in a Third World region that generally isn’t exposed to trends until later than most areas. However, with the rise of the Internet and social networks, the gap is closing quickly. (Right now, @kickstq has nearly 47,000 Instagram followers.)
Then there’s the fusion between high fashion and mainstream that Tareq Q executes with precision. Whether it’s the best of the adidas Y-3 line or the latest Yeezy release, the deciding factors for pickups are “simplicity, creativity in its design, meaning behind the shoe, and how wearable they are.”
Who knows whether or not the Middle East will be the next big plug in the sneaker community but one thing’s for sure, cats like Tareq are leading the charge.
“The world needs to know that there are some serious sneakerheads out here who are deep into the culture and are keen on making it grow,” he says. “Shoutout to by people in Kuwait who represent @supersoulxxx and my friends over at @soledxb in Dubai. The Middle East got next.”
images via @kickstq